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Archive for October 2004

2 October 2004

spotASLEF: The Battle Continues

SHAUN BRADY who unexpectedly defeated Mick Rix to become general secretary of the train drivers' union ASLEF, has been dismissed from his post. A previous issue of the socialist (issue 362) exposed Brady's links with the bosses and the New Labour...

2 October 2004

spotIndustrial Action Threatened Over Council Pensions

THE GOVERNMENT has reneged on another 'commitment' given union leaders in the 'Warwick deal', this time over pensions...

2 October 2004

spotNew ASBOs Powers Won't Work

A FEW weeks ago, the Bristol Evening Post comments column commended the new powers of Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) in evicting drug dealers and their families from their homes...

2 October 2004

spotOpen Letter To Sacked Liverpool Dockers

REPRESENTATIVES OF two groups of Merseyside workers - the 47 surcharged Liverpool councillors of 1983-1987 and the sacked Liverpool dockers - initiated a local campaign last February as a step towards building a new mass party of the working class...

2 October 2004

spotOil Prices Break $50 A Barrel Mark

WORLD OIL prices continue to rise with the price of US light crude breaking the $50 a barrel mark for a period last week - its highest price for 21 years...

2 October 2004

spotHealth Workers in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir Gear-Up For Elections

HEALTH WORKERS in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) - numbering nearly 10,000 out of 80,000 public sector workers - are organised by the Azad Jammu Kashmir Paramedical Staff Association...

2 October 2004

spotSocialist Alternative Win Two Council Seats in Germany

Germany: LOCAL ELECTIONS took place in Germany's most populous regional state North Rhine Westphalia on September 26...

2 October 2004

spotStudents Sign Up for Socialism

WAR AND occupation in Iraq, top-up fees, attacks on education, the BNP, inequality - just some of the issues that have motivated hundreds of students to find out more about socialist ideas at the university freshers fairs...

2 October 2004

spotThe Other parties of Big Business...

RECENT OPINION polls suggest that Britain's three mainstream parties - Labour, Liberals and Tories - are not only indistinguishable in politics but also indistinguishable in support...

2 October 2004

spotTime For A New Workers' Party

TONY BLAIR may claim he is not the 'wobbling' kind. But the long shadow of the Iraq occupation, the hostage crisis and Labour's majority being reduced to less than 30 seats at a general election were likely to leave Blair, his ministers...

2 October 2004

spotBosses Think Minimum Wage Too High

"TONY BLAIR is hypocritical and can't be trusted. He has repeatedly refused to repeal Tory anti-trade union laws which prevent workers from protecting themselves...

2 October 2004

spotUnite Against The Jobs Massacre

The Economist magazine recently carried an article on the UK car industry: The Car in Front is British. They talked about a revival and a return to the 'heyday' of the 1970s...

2 October 2004

spotFighting Back In Coventry

THE DECISION of Jaguar workers in Coventry to fight the decision to end car production has boosted the mood of opposition in the city. No one doubts that it will be a hard fight against a ruthless, cynical multinational like Ford. But it's a...

2 October 2004

spotCity-Wide Movement To Save Decent Jobs

COVENTRY IS a city under siege by the forces of global capitalism. Jaguar workers face a life on the dole as Ford, the giant multinational car manufacturer, plan to end Jaguar production in the city, with the closure of the Brown's Lane assembly...

2 October 2004

spotVote 'Yes': Strike Back Against Job Losses

CIVIL SERVICE workers in the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) are being balloted for strike action on 5 November against the government's proposed jobs slaughter...

2 October 2004

spotOut Of Touch!

Build The Socialist Alternative: MORE OUT of touch and more inflexible than Margaret Thatcher. That's the verdict of the majority of people in this country about Tony Blair...

9 October 2004

spotTweedledum Or Tweedledee?

Australia: Federal Elections -: AUSTRALIAN PRIME Minister, John Howard, has called the Australian Federal election for 9 October. But Australians have little to choose from; Howard is the most right-wing Liberal prime minister ever, and Mark Latham, the leader of the Australian...

9 October 2004

spotAs Politicians Talk - Sectarian Divisions Deepen

Northern Ireland: DESPITE THE failure of the Leeds Castle talks last month, the British and Irish governments are continuing talks with Sinn Fein and the DUP in an attempt to resurrect the Northern Ireland Assembly and to re-establish an Executive...

9 October 2004

spotTroops, Bulldozers And Resistance

Palestine / Iraq: WATCHING THE TV news last weekend, it was difficult trying to identify whether the tanks and helicopter gunships blasting buildings were Israeli or US, and whether the location was the Palestinian Gaza strip or the cities of Samarra and Fallujah in Iraq...

9 October 2004

spotEuropean Social Forum

THE EUROPEAN Social Forum (ESF), meeting in London from 15-17 October, is just a week away. Tens of thousands will converge on Alexandra Palace and Bloomsbury to hear speakers on 'war and peace', 'social justice', 'corporate globalisation', 'racism...

9 October 2004

spotUnion Leaders' Rebellion Fizzles Out

Labour and war: THE UNION leaders' threatened revolt against Blair on Iraq at the Labour Party conference evaporated quicker than you could say 'stitch-up'...

9 October 2004

spotCan Blair See Out A Third Term?

TONY BLAIR has announced that he will go on to serve out a third term as prime minister. If it were just down to the Tories then he probably would...

9 October 2004

spotBuilding Support Amongst Other Trade Unionists

MARION LLOYD, a member of the PCS national executive committee, recently spoke at rail union ASLEF's national conference. Extracts from her warmly received speech follow:...

9 October 2004

spot"We're Not Faceless Bureaucrats"

THE BALLOT for strike action amongst civil service workers has begun...

9 October 2004

spotYour Questions Answered

AGENDA FOR Change (AfC) is riddled with inequalities. Socialist Party members in the NHS believe it is a bad deal which should be thrown out. It will certainly do nothing to provide a free, modern, publicly owned national health service that...

9 October 2004

spotReject Agenda For Change!

Health service: LOW PAY in the NHS is widespread - many ancillary workers get around 4.85 an hour, little more than the minimum wage. Thousands have to rely on extra payments for working unsocial hours just to scrape together a living...

9 October 2004

spotDon't Let The Fat Cats Bury The Big Cat

CBI boss threatens Coventry workers: DIGBY JONES, the bosses' representative at the head of the CBI has warned Jaguar workers not to "push water uphill". The Coventry Evening Telegraph reported him as saying that: "Unions should recognise they could push Ford too...

9 October 2004

spotStrike Back At Job Cuts

Civil service, Jaguar, P&O...: TONY BLAIR and Gordon Brown said nothing in their Labour Party conference speeches about the increasing number of job losses in the economy. But Brown has his axe poised over 104,000 civil service jobs...

9 October 2004

spotForty Years of Fighting For Socialism

FORTY YEARS ago this month, the first issue of the Militant (now the socialist), was produced...

16 October 2004

spotUS Elections: Putting An Alternative

SOCIALIST ALTERNATIVE (the Socialist Party's counterpart in the US) were recently invited to participate in a "Presidential debate watch" event at Kennedy High, Minneapolis...

16 October 2004

spotInternational Workers' Solidarity

Germany: Socialist councillor sacked: ON 26 September Marc Treude was elected as councillor in Aachen for the left-wing electoral alliance "Together against social cuts". On 8 October he was sacked by his employers at Cinram for organising resistance against 350 lay-offs...

16 October 2004

spotThe Lessons Of Chile 1970-73

Militant - The Socialist

IN THE second of our articles celebrating 40 years of the Militant newspaper (now the socialist), Roger Shrives looks at how we reported and commented on the tumultuous events of Salvador Allende's government in Chile from 1970 until the vicious coup by the reactionary general Pinochet in 1973...

16 October 2004

spotInternational Socialist Resistance: Get Organised And Fight For Socialism

International Socialist Resistance (ISR) and Socialist Students' members have, in the last few weeks, spoken to thousands of young people throughout the country at university Freshers' Fairs, schools, colleges and workplaces...

16 October 2004

spotItaly - Mass Struggle And The Forces Of The Left

ITALY IS the country in which the anti-globalisation and anti-war protests of the new century have brought the greatest numbers onto the streets - up to 3 million on 15 February, 2003...

16 October 2004

spotWorkers Must Fight Attacks On Living Standards

'Social Europe' - just another form of capitalism: European workers, civil servants, pensioners and the unemployed have come under ferocious attack in the past year and a half from their governments and the private and public sector bosses...

16 October 2004

spotHow a socialist economy would work

COMMENTING ON last November's ESF in Paris, the Guardian columnist George Monbiot acknowledged that the official anti-capitalist movement has "scarcely attempted to tackle the big issue: what should be done about capitalism...

16 October 2004

spotCWI - Building Socialism Worldwide

MANY PARTICIPANTS at this week's European Social Forum in London will be looking for an alternative to the capitalist system. The socialist ideas and programme of the Committee for a Workers' International (CWI) explains the causes of exploitation,...

16 October 2004

spotDid The Anti-War Movement Fail?

ON 15 FEBRUARY 2003, the planet was swept by a tidal wave of demonstrations. From Greenland in the north to the Auckland Islands in the south, around forty million took to the streets to try and halt the looming invasion of Iraq. Like 1968, 2003...

16 October 2004

spotThe Socialist Party at the ESF:

(also sponsored by International Socialist Resistance, the Committee for a Workers' International and Socialist Students)...

16 October 2004

spotA Socialist Guide To The ESF

THE EUROPEAN Social Forum (ESF) is now celebrating its third year, following previous gatherings of over 50,000 people in Florence and Paris...

16 October 2004

spotFight Back Against A Future Of Pension Poverty

THE NEW government report on pensions could be political dynamite. It shows that British capitalism can only offer future old age pensioners deep poverty after retirement...

16 October 2004

spot'Solid' General Strike in Nigeria Shows Fury At Elite

NIGERIA'S FIFTH general strike since June 2000 stopped the entire country when the four-day stoppage started on 11 October. This protest was again provoked by a jump in fuel prices...

16 October 2004

spotIraq - Withdraw The Troops

THERE IS justifiable revulsion, shared by the socialist, at the videoed public beheading of Ken Bigley. However, Ken Bigley's brother, Paul, was right when he said that "Blair has blood on his hands"...

16 October 2004

spotPCS Strike Ballot: Vote 'Yes' To Defend Jobs And Services

CIVIL SERVICE union PCS members are balloting for a one-day strike to defend jobs and services. Meetings are taking place all over the country...

16 October 2004

spotA Socialist World Is Possible

TWO WEEKS ago, two thousand people in a hall in Bournemouth - overwhelmingly wealthy, male and over sixty - dominated the entire media, as every aspect of the Tory Party conference was pored over...

23 October 2004

spotAfter the General Strike

Nigeria: BETWEEN 11 and 14 October, for the third time this year, the overwhelming majority of Nigerians showed their opposition to the continual rise in fuel prices in a totally effective four-day general strike...

23 October 2004

spotSocialist MP Fights Sell-Off Fiasco

THE FIANNA Fail-led coalition government in Ireland had plans to privatise the country's state airline Aer Lingus. The airline's management (publicly appointed officials running a state-owned company) announced that they wanted to compete for...

23 October 2004

spotGerman Walkout Starts Fightback

General Motors: WORKERS AT Opel's Ruhr area factory in Bochum made a swift, angry and determined answer to General Motor's (GM's) announcement of 12,000 redundancies throughout Europe. Their unofficial strike has hit the headlines in Germany...

23 October 2004

spotThe Collapse Of Stalinism

Militant - The Socialist

IN THE third article in the series marking the 40th anniversary of the Militant newspaper's first appearance, Roger Shrives looks at how we covered events around the collapse of Stalinism...

23 October 2004

spotBlack Gold Rush And Casino Capitalism

A 'BLACK gold' rush is in full swing. Profiting from the soaring price of oil, financiers are gambling billions on the New York and London commodities markets...

23 October 2004

spotCapitalism Condemned But Where's The Alternative?

European Social Forum: FROM 15-17 October, London hosted the third annual European Social Forum (ESF). Under the slogan 'Another world is possible' up to 20,000 anti-war activists and anti-globalisation campaigners from across Europe converged on the city...

23 October 2004

spotFor A Fighting Unison Leadership

UNISON general secretary election: THE GENERAL secretary election in public sector union UNISON has started. Socialist Party member Roger Bannister is standing as: "A fighting general secretary on a worker's wage". Roger spoke to the socialist this week about...

23 October 2004

spotFight The Witchhunt In The Firefighters' Union

THE LEADERSHIP of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has banned the organisation Grassroots FBU after a six-month inquiry headed by soon-to-be-retiring assistant general secretary Mike Fordham...

23 October 2004

spotA Danger To Us All

Mental Health Bill: THE MENTAL health charity Mind believes that if the new mental health bill becomes law, it will: "Seriously restrict the rights, the choices and the well-being of millions of people - while failing to provide the improved public safety its supporters claim."...

23 October 2004

spotBoss's 15-year Pension 'Holiday'

Pensions crisis: FROM 1967 to 1983 I worked for the NFC road haulage company, now called Exel plc. I get a pension of 151 per month from them. Recently, Exel sent me an annual review of their pension plan...

23 October 2004

spotVote 'No' To Agenda For Change

NHS pay and conditions: "WE WILL be taking a wage cut of 1,350 per year if the Agenda for Change (AfC) goes through" said Lynne Saker, a medical secretary in Guys hospital in London...

23 October 2004

spotStop The Warmongers

US Militar5y crosses from Vietnam to Iraq - Alan Hardman cartoon - click for larger picture
Blair lies, thousands die: "THIS IS a political game to help George Bush win the election - and it stinks". That was how the father of one soldier killed in Iraq reacted to reports that 650 British troops could be moved from the south of Iraq to more dangerous 'hotspots' around Baghdad.

30 October 2004

spotCoventry Workers Fight Back

"STORM CLOUDS gather over council" was the headline in the Coventry Evening Telegraph after the announcement of the ballot results on the council's single status deal...

30 October 2004

spotSupport Jaguar Workers

27 November demo, Coventry: THE CAMPAIGN to keep the production of Jaguar cars in Coventry steps up a gear next month. Jaguar workers plan to hold the biggest march and rally ever seen in Coventry on Saturday 27 November...

30 October 2004

spotManchester Evening News Strike

JOURNALISTS WORKING for the Manchester Evening News (MEN) will stage two days of strike action on 31 October and 1 November. This follows a 83% 'yes' vote for industrial action after a ballot of all MEN journalists...

30 October 2004

spotNominate Roger Bannister

SOCIALIST PARTY member Roger Bannister is standing for election as UNISON general secretary...

30 October 2004

spotFour Weeks To Get All Pledges In

General Election Campaign: The general election could be just six months away. This will be an opportunity for the Socialist Party to stand candidates who not only oppose Labour's policies but will also put forward a socialist alternative...

30 October 2004

spotWythenshawe: Young People Need Decent Facilities

Manchester: THE "WYTHENSHAWE Partnership" has now spent over 100 million in this area of Manchester. But more CCTV won't solve the real problems. Our youth are bored, they have nothing to do and the council and police scapegoat them...

30 October 2004

spotHow The NHS Is Being Taken Apart

Review: NHS plc: Allyson Pollock quotes Aneurin Bevan in her new book NHS plc...

30 October 2004

spotSocialist Party Stands To Stop Privatisers

Louise Thompson, housing campaigner, is our candidate: THE SOCIALIST Party in Walthamstow, east London, is standing in a council by-election in Hoe Street ward on 18 November. We had 12 members out canvassing on Sunday - our first two canvasses sold 34 papers and we met three people interested...

30 October 2004

spotLife As A Refugee

The murder of a Kurdish refugee in an alleged racist attack in Swansea several weeks ago sent shock waves throughout Swansea and across Wales...

30 October 2004

spotOpel Workers - Down But Not Out

WORKERS AT the Opel plant in Bochum ended their solid, unofficial six day walkout on Thursday, 21 October...

30 October 2004

spotUkraine: Galol Plant Workers Left High And Dry

ON 30 September, Ukrainian CWI members held a picket of the Ministry of Justice in Kiev in solidarity with the workers of the Galol plant in West Ukraine...

30 October 2004

spotThe White House For Sale

LAST MONDAY'S TV documentary - The White House for sale - gave a revealing, if none too surprising, insight into how big business dominates the US political system...

30 October 2004

spotIsrael: Sharon's 'Entanglement Plan'

THE ISRAELI Knesset [parliament] votes this week on Ariel Sharon's "Disengagement Plan". Can such a plan bring the end of the Israeli-Palestinian bloodbath any closer?...

30 October 2004

spotTroops Out Of Iraq

Money For Public Services Not War And Occupation: ALMOST TWO thirds of voters oppose the deployment of the Black Watch nearer to Baghdad. It is well understood that this action has more to do with Bush's campaign to win the US election than any military strategy...

30 October 2004

spotWhy We're Going On Strike

Mark Serwotka, PSC General Secretary
ON 5 November, thousands of civil servants in the PCS union will be striking against Blair and Brown's plans to cut over 100,000 jobs and in defence of pensions and sick pay.
Announcing the strike ballot result Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary said...

30 October 2004

spotUnite And Fight

Prospect and PCS members on the picket line
Defend jobs and services: CIVIL SERVANTS across all government departments have voted to take part in a one-day strike on Friday 5 November...

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